I’m still in bed. Gemma-Rose slides quietly through the door and slips in next to me. She snuggles up close and starts gently stroking my hair away from my face.

“You are so gorgeous, Mummy! Your hair is very pretty.”

“But it’s all messed up,” I protest.

“I still like it. I even like those photos of you with big hair.”

Big hair? I have to smile. I think of those photos taken in the late 80s.

It’s funny how I used to love my 80s big hair. Back then I thought I looked so gorgeous. Now… I cringe every time someone unearths the photo album. The pages are turned and then everyone laughs. All that hair! It sticks out like a frizzy cloud. Couldn’t I just burn all those photos?

Big hair wasn’t my only hair disaster. Many years ago when I was still a student I had my hair cut so short and spiky that it stuck straight up. I thought that was pretty cool at the time. It sort of suited my student life style and I was happy until…

One day I realised I’d be getting married in a year or so. Wedding photos are forever. Would I always want to be known as the spiky haired bride?  I wanted to be a pretty bride not a shocking bride. So I started the long process of growing out the layers.

I made it. Our wedding photos show a normal looking bride with bobbed hair.

But normality didn’t last long. Big hair was on its way. This was followed by a brief period of sanity and then…

One day I thought longingly of my former short hair. How easy that hairstyle had been to look after. No time consuming blow drying. With the birth of our third child it seemed sensible to go short. So I did.

I glanced in the mirror. Surely I hadn’t looked this bad last time I’d had my hair cut short? Could I stay hidden at home until it was all grown back? Eventually we ran out of food and I ventured out.

“Sue! Your hair! Wow, you are so brave!” Brave? Not gorgeous? That confirmed it. It did look awful. I vowed to grow back my hair and never try anything adventurous ever again.

And I haven’t. I've had the same hair style for years. Sometimes I think I’ve become boring and set in my ways and maybe a change might be good. I am tempted and then... I think of those photos that my children laugh at, and I say, “I've become sensible. I know what’s suits me.” I have learnt my lesson.

And just in case my hairdresser thinks I’m an old fuddy-duddy with no imagination I take pains to tell her about the spikes, the perms, the big hair… Yes, been there, done that. No need for me to experiment. I’ve earned my boring, straight bob.

Shall I post some photos of my hair disasters? Should I expose myself to ridicule? Let me tell you a story before I decide.

Many years ago when I was in high school, it was our class’s turn for the fancy dress fundraiser. We had to don our costumes and then visit all the other classrooms, buckets in hand, to collect money in exchange for laughs. I chose to dress up as an older woman with an old fashioned suit and sensible shoes, a frizzy wig, glasses, bright pink lips, rouged cheeks and a grandma handbag. I looked awfully unattractive, not even a hint of gorgeousness. 

My father caught sight of me as I was leaving the house and tried to stop me with some advice, “Never deliberately make yourself an object of laughter, Sue. You should choose an appealing costume. You don’t want people to poke fun at you.” But I liked my costume and I ignored this sensible fatherly advice and set off with my bucket and handbag. Yes, everyone did laugh but really I didn’t care. The love of my life thought I was gorgeous. And that was all that mattered. Andy was right beside me, swinging his bucket looking equally unattractive. And we had fun.

So shall I laugh at myself? Shall I show you those photos? Will you wonder how I could have gone out in public looking like that? Should I let myself become an object of ridicule?

Maybe if you stop and tell me your own bad hair stories I will let you laugh. Somehow I don’t think I am the only person who has ever suffered from bad hair. What gorgeous hair style did you used to have that now makes you cringe?

Laughing at ourselves? It is sometimes so difficult to do. But when people laugh with us and not at us, what a lot of fun we can have.

From the album:

I am sure these aren't the worse photos but they will do. Maybe if anyone else shares, I will hunt out some more...

Oh yes, a special note for my crazy sister. Hey Vicky, I found some good photos of you in my album too...
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  1. Aaargh!!! I was really enjoying this post and having a good old belly laugh - until I got to the last line:-O

    Now, I'm trying to remember whether I used to look more like a shaggy dog or Alice Cooper - do you remember the black eye make-up?

    Oh, Sue, we must be getting old. I - hang on a minute, I've forgotten what I was going to say or was I going to do something? The memory must be slipping...

    You know, I don't think I'm going to recognize those old photos, after all!

  2. Sue,
    I used to have "big hair" too :) Can I see Vicky's "big hair" photos too or will she disown you?
    My hair is very fine and thin so I had a difficult time making it big but somehow I managed (gallons of hairspray). Where there is a will, there is a way! Thanks for sharing these photos and I didn't laugh once (at the pictures, the story on the other hand...)I thought they were adorable :)

  3. Hi Vicky, Glad you enjoyed the laugh. Shaggy dog, I think. Perhaps your Alice Cooper look came after I left home. Do you have any photos? Are you brave enough to share some? Or can't you remember where you put the photo album?

  4. Mary,

    I was thinking about posting some photos of Vicky. Then I remembered my post about not offending my readers. I can't afford to offend Vicky and lose her as a follower. Once she unfollows, all her children will unfollow as well and I'll be left almost followerless.

    No, I can't do that! You will just have to imagine her big head of shaggy dog hair!

    I was thinking of doing a bad hair Mr Linky but I wasn't sure anyone else would post any photos!!

    God bless, Mary!

  5. Hi Sue,

    Do men have bad hair stories?

    Here's mine: http://timeforreflections.blogspot.com/2011/09/mademoiselle-veronique-tombal.html

    God bless.

  6. Victor,
    Of course men have bad hair stories.... unless they are bald and have no hair at all. Remember all that hair men had in the 70s? And big moustaches too. Side burns...

    You could have had a mohawk or been a skinhead...

    I do like your singed hair story though. Thank you for the link so everyone can enjoy it.

  7. Hi Sue,

    Your hair pictures are very similar to my hair style back in the day! Puffed up hair and bangs, that was the rage! Thank you for taking me down memory lane!!

    I did receive your book and I'll be reading it soon! I have to finish one other but I can't wait to read yours!!

  8. Noreen,

    I am glad you enjoyed remembering! Fashions from times past look so strange today. At least we all looked strange together!

    Noreen, please don't hurry to read my book. Put it on the bottom of your list. It is not a priority. I am pleased you are sharing Thomas and his story but all in your own time.

    Thank you and God bless!

  9. Hi Sue,

    I very much want to read your book!! I've read bits and pieces of Thomas' story through your blog and am looking forward to reading the full story!!

  10. Hi sue, i love your hair like that. It is fun.
    I had my hair like that.
    I will share some photos with you one day when I am feeling very brave.

  11. Leanne,

    One day we will sit down and share our photo albums and giggle together. Good to have friends to laugh with.

  12. Loved this post! I'm right there with you, Sue! I had the big 80's hair - Oh my! What time I spent on it. I've finally accepted my thin, straight hair, and am so thankful that straight is currently acceptable. I now wear a (relatively) care free bob as well! P.S. You looked pretty with "big" hair too!

  13. Dana,
    I think as we get older we accept what we have been given better. I have stopped fighting my hair and yes, straight seems to be in fashion, which helps! So many girls seem to have hair straighteners and they probably spend as much time taming their curls as we did, trying to make our hair big. Good to share big hair memories!

    God bless.

  14. LOL - I have big hair unless I make it behave - it was so in in the 80's - and beyond since I'm in TX - but now, it's just ridiculous. Definitely time for a cut. You were a lovely bride and are still lovely at 50. Tell Gemma-Rose I totally agree with her :-)

  15. Hi Beate, I am so pleased to see you here sharing my silly stories. Thank you! I'm so glad I have Gemma-Rose and friends like you to make me feel good whatever I look like. God bless!

  16. Ah Sue. :)

    I have had self-inflicted home perms that made me look like Rosanna Roseanndanna from Saturday Night Live. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roseanne_Roseannadanna

    I have accidentally dyed my hair orange, and even black. I have had hair dos identical to both the ones you are showing here. Actually hairdo #2 I wore with pride for several years and thought I was just gorgeous. :)

    I have had a girl version of a mullet. In the 80s I went through gallons of Aqua Net. I am quite sure I have my own hole in the ozone. Once my (then best friend) and I decided to cut each others bangs. So I had very hacked up uneven bangs. I have even had my hair cut 'punk' so it stood straight up on top. I thought I looked pretty 'bitchin' at the time.

    I got a bob when I was pregnant with Amy, and have worn that hairstyle most of the last 18 years. Currently though, I'm going with long, natural, back in a ponytail hair. Where the heck did all this grey come from??

    My sister told me in a very loving way recently that my long too-grey hair was not becoming, so I am about to color it brown.. my original, natural color... except now it's out of a box! Thinner, finer, and more salt than pepper. It's just not fair. My penance for all that hairspray I suppose! LOL

  17. Susan,

    I am going to have to find out who Rosanna Roseanndanna is. With such a big name maybe she has big hair too!

    It sounds like you have tried just about everything possible with your hair. Have you got photos of all those gorgeous styles!?

    Grey hair? Sigh! It comes whether you want it or not. Actually my hair is going white, not grey, which blends in quite well with the red. I call them my blonde highlights! But I've noticed the odd white hair is turning into quite a few white hairs. Eventually I am going to be a white haired old lady with red highlights!

    Can't wait to see your new brown hair!

  18. I am certain there is photographic evidence of some of the ghastly 'dos' I've had in my life. LOL Luckily I have a broken scanner so no scanning here. ;) LOL But when I do get a working one, I do hereby promise to write my own 'gorgeous hair' blog entry, complete with pictures. LOL

    Check out the link I posted there for Roseannea Rosannadanna. It was Gilda Radner and this was a character she played and was not her real hair but it was horrible and funny at the same time. My self inflicted perm was a big frizzy mess.. and would NOT hang down normally as hair should... it just sort of went shaggy and it bushed out. I had to pin it back with barrettes and then it fluffed out all around... wild, out of control, fried, badly permed hair. I wanted to cry. I was so happy when it grew out so I could get a lot of it cut out... THEN it looked cute. Or perhaps I was deceived then too... LOL

  19. Susan,

    I am going to remind you about your proposed gorgeous hair story. I can see you have a great sense of humour and don't mind sharing a few laughs!

    I have my own perm disaster stories. I was so excited when I got my first perm but when I arrived home my mother's face told me instantly that it looked awful. Yes, it takes ages to grow out perms. The silly thing was I went back and had it permed all over again. Somehow I expected it to turn out better the second time and the third.... But never again!

    I will check out the link!

  20. this one caught my eye :) I haven't done a bob in a long while but always consider it ...it's classic IMO :) I kinda miss the big hair of the 80s some times lol but not sitting to get the perm and fixing the bangs and all the hair spray. :) I'm like you...short is a no-no for me. And I plan to be one of those grandma's w/ a bob or a pony or a ball on the back of my head...but my hair will be well below my ears...not short :) No weekly salon visits here. I'm low maintenance...

    1. Amanda,

      You are so right: the bob is a classic. And I'm grateful I suit a classic style. Maybe I will also be a grandmother with bobbed hair. Like you, I won't have it cut too short. I've been looking at older women and wondering about future hairstyles. I definitely don't want to be a perm and set lady. I love low maintenance styles as well. I guess a bob doesn't sound low maintenance but with a good cut every 6 weeks, it only takes about 5 minutes to blow dry it each day. That's better than having to have regular perms and colour. I wish I suited long hair and a pony tail. That would be the best style of all.

      Thanks for sharing!


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